Pastor Kevin Grills acknowledges that he’s been reluctant for years to offer “ashes to go” on Ash Wednesday.
It had a bit too much of a “fast-food feel” for his liking, the spiritual leader said, via email.
But in the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to be creative and find new ways to reach people, according to Grills, who leads the First United Methodist Church of Land O’ Lakes.
So, this Ash Wednesday, those driving through the church’s driveway will not only receive an imposition of ashes, but also a free cup of Aroma Joe’s coffee.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten period leading to Easter.
This year, it falls on Feb. 17, and ashes will be distributed at the First Methodist Church of Land O’ Lakes from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., that morning. They will be distributed in the church’s driveway, at 6209 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O Lakes.
Those arriving will be directed to one of two pastors — Rev. Grills or Rev. Barry White will impose the ashes and will provide some information about Ash Wednesday, the season of Lent and opportunities to worship.
No one will have to get out of their car and everything will be done with safety in mind and social distancing, Grills said.
After getting their ashes, visitors can drive to a station where coffee will be made to order by Glenn Cote, the owner of Aroma Joe’s, a community partner with the church.
Stopping at the church shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, from start to finish, Grills said.
The church has an uncomplicated motive for offering its hospitality.
“This is simply to love our neighbors,” Grills added.
The church has wanted to offer coffee to commuters for years, but just hasn’t made that happen. Grills hopes the Ash Wednesday event is just the start of a new “coffee for commuters” outreach effort that occurs on a more regular basis during the year.
Published February 10, 2021
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.